Baseball: Tribe pitchers shut down Northeastern in sweep

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March 25, 2013

11:14 PM

William and Mary swept Northeastern scWilliam and Mary swept Northeastern while holding them scoreless in the weekend series, winning each game 1-0. Ending Sunday, the Tribe (16-8, CAA 5-1) did not allow a single run during the three-game series with the Huskies (10-11, CAA 2-7), and the victories extended the team’s win streak to six games.

The Tribe traveled to Boston to face the Huskies for the first time this year, with senior pitcher Brett Koehler (3-2) taking the mound for the College Friday. On his way to a complete-game shutout, Koehler allowed six hits and struck out five Huskies on his way to his third victory of the season, while also giving up only one walk.

Koehler faced his biggest threat in the seventh inning when Northeastern’s Rob Fonseca hit a single to left field to get on base. Following his at-bat, Fonseca made it to second on a teammate’s sacrifice bunt. With Fonseca in scoring position, the Huskies’ designated hitter Justin Kessler came up to bat, but he flew out to senior shortstop Ryan Williams, who tagged Fonseca out and ended the inning.

The only score of the game came in the top of the fifth when freshman catcher Ryan Hissey got on base off of an error by the Huskies’ pitcher. After a walk brought Hissey to third, senior right fielder Derek Lowe hit a single to spring Hissey home.

The Tribe faced the Huskies in an eerily similar game Saturday, dispatching them 1-0 again. The College had senior pitcher John Farrell (5-0) on the mound for all nine innings, and he threw a shutout to improve his record on the season to 5-0. Farrell also lowered his ERA to an impressive 1.51, currently the top ERA in the Colonial Athletic Association. He allowed just four hits and struck out seven Huskies while pitching very close to his hometown of Andover, Mass.

On the offensive side Saturday, senior centerfielder Ryan Brown drove in what would be the only score of the game with a single in the top of the fifth inning, which brought in Lowe to claim the decisive 1-0 advantage.

The Huskies best chance to score Saturday came in the bottom of the seventh, when they had centerfielder Connor Lyons on third with only one out. As the next batter for the Huskies flew out to right field, Lyons attempted to tag up and dash home for what would have been the Huskies first score of the series. But Lowe was able to make an incredible throw to catch Lyons at home for the out. The Huskies never threatened in the game after the seventh, and Farrell finished them off in the ninth inning with three methodical groundouts.

In the final game of the series, the College again defeated the Huskies 1-0 for the satisfying sweep. On the mound was sophomore pitcher Jason Inghram (3-2), who pitched a complete-game shutout like Farrell and Koehler before him, allowing just four hits and throwing nine strikeouts. Inghram’s dominating performance Sunday helped him claim the CAA Pitcher of the Week honor.

At the plate Sunday, junior second baseman Lindemuth went 1 for 4, but his lone hit scored the go-ahead run for the Tribe in the top of the eighth, bringing freshman left fielder Jonathan Sarty home for the Tribe’s only score of the day and the only one they would need.

In the eighth inning with Sarty on first, Lowe’s infield single was able to move Sarty to third. With runners on both first and third, Lindemuth struck a single to center field which plated Sarty, sealing the three-game road sweep for the College.

Over the course of the entire weekend, the Tribe did not allow a run and held the Huskies’ batters to a dismal .159 batting average. The College’s pitching staff lowered its collective ERA to 3.41 for the season by striking out 21 batters and giving up just five walks.

The Tribe will travel down to East Carolina for a one-game series Tuesday.

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Jonathan Iyob
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